Close

Terms and Conditions

These terms and conditions of use refer to the London Review of Books and the London Review Bookshop website (www.lrb.co.uk — hereafter ‘LRB Website’). These terms and conditions apply to all users of the LRB Website ("you"), including individual subscribers to the print edition of the LRB who wish to take advantage of our free 'subscriber only' access to archived material ("individual users") and users who are authorised to access the LRB Website by subscribing institutions ("institutional users").

Each time you use the LRB Website you signify your acceptance of these terms and conditions. If you do not agree, or are not comfortable with any part of this document, your only remedy is not to use the LRB Website.


  1. By registering for access to the LRB Website and/or entering the LRB Website by whatever route of access, you agree to be bound by the terms and conditions currently prevailing.
  2. The London Review of Books ("LRB") reserves the right to change these terms and conditions at any time and you should check for any alterations regularly. Continued usage of the LRB Website subsequent to a change in the terms and conditions constitutes acceptance of the current terms and conditions.
  3. The terms and conditions of any subscription agreements which educational and other institutions have entered into with the LRB apply in addition to these terms and conditions.
  4. You undertake to indemnify the LRB fully for all losses damages and costs incurred as a result of your breaching these terms and conditions.
  5. The information you supply on registration to the LRB Website shall be accurate and complete. You will notify the LRB promptly of any changes of relevant details by emailing the registrar. You will not assist a non-registered person to gain access to the LRB Website by supplying them with your password. In the event that the LRB considers that you have breached the requirements governing registration, that you are in breach of these terms and conditions or that your or your institution's subscription to the LRB lapses, your registration to the LRB Website will be terminated.
  6. Each individual subscriber to the LRB (whether a person or organisation) is entitled to the registration of one person to use the 'subscriber only' content on the web site. This user is an 'individual user'.
  7. The London Review of Books operates a ‘no questions asked’ cancellation policy in accordance with UK legislation. Please contact us to cancel your subscription and receive a full refund for the cost of all unposted issues.
  8. Use of the 'subscriber only' content on the LRB Website is strictly for the personal use of each individual user who may read the content on the screen, download, store or print single copies for their own personal private non-commercial use only, and is not to be made available to or used by any other person for any purpose.
  9. Each institution which subscribes to the LRB is entitled to grant access to persons to register on and use the 'subscriber only' content on the web site under the terms and conditions of its subscription agreement with the LRB. These users are 'institutional users'.
  10. Each institutional user of the LRB may access and search the LRB database and view its entire contents, and may also reproduce insubstantial extracts from individual articles or other works in the database to which their institution's subscription provides access, including in academic assignments and theses, online and/or in print. All quotations must be credited to the author and the LRB. Institutional users are not permitted to reproduce any entire article or other work, or to make any commercial use of any LRB material (including sale, licensing or publication) without the LRB's prior written permission. Institutions may notify institutional users of any additional or different conditions of use which they have agreed with the LRB.
  11. Users may use any one computer to access the LRB web site 'subscriber only' content at any time, so long as that connection does not allow any other computer, networked or otherwise connected, to access 'subscriber only' content.
  12. The LRB Website and its contents are protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights. You acknowledge that all intellectual property rights including copyright in the LRB Website and its contents belong to or have been licensed to the LRB or are otherwise used by the LRB as permitted by applicable law.
  13. All intellectual property rights in articles, reviews and essays originally published in the print edition of the LRB and subsequently included on the LRB Website belong to or have been licensed to the LRB. This material is made available to you for use as set out in paragraph 8 (if you are an individual user) or paragraph 10 (if you are an institutional user) only. Save for such permitted use, you may not download, store, disseminate, republish, post, reproduce, translate or adapt such material in whole or in part in any form without the prior written permission of the LRB. To obtain such permission and the terms and conditions applying, contact the Rights and Permissions department.
  14. All intellectual property rights in images on the LRB Website are owned by the LRB except where another copyright holder is specifically attributed or credited. Save for such material taken for permitted use set out above, you may not download, store, disseminate, republish, post, reproduce, translate or adapt LRB’s images in whole or in part in any form without the prior written permission of the LRB. To obtain such permission and the terms and conditions applying, contact the Rights and Permissions department. Where another copyright holder is specifically attributed or credited you may not download, store, disseminate, republish, reproduce or translate such images in whole or in part in any form without the prior written permission of the copyright holder. The LRB will not undertake to supply contact details of any attributed or credited copyright holder.
  15. The LRB Website is provided on an 'as is' basis and the LRB gives no warranty that the LRB Website will be accessible by any particular browser, operating system or device.
  16. The LRB makes no express or implied representation and gives no warranty of any kind in relation to any content available on the LRB Website including as to the accuracy or reliability of any information either in its articles, essays and reviews or in the letters printed in its letter page or material supplied by third parties. The LRB excludes to the fullest extent permitted by law all liability of any kind (including liability for any losses, damages or costs) arising from the publication of any materials on the LRB Website or incurred as a consequence of using or relying on such materials.
  17. The LRB excludes to the fullest extent permitted by law all liability of any kind (including liability for any losses, damages or costs) for any legal or other consequences (including infringement of third party rights) of any links made to the LRB Website.
  18. The LRB is not responsible for the content of any material you encounter after leaving the LRB Website site via a link in it or otherwise. The LRB gives no warranty as to the accuracy or reliability of any such material and to the fullest extent permitted by law excludes all liability that may arise in respect of or as a consequence of using or relying on such material.
  19. This site may be used only for lawful purposes and in a manner which does not infringe the rights of, or restrict the use and enjoyment of the site by, any third party. In the event of a chat room, message board, forum and/or news group being set up on the LRB Website, the LRB will not undertake to monitor any material supplied and will give no warranty as to its accuracy, reliability, originality or decency. By posting any material you agree that you are solely responsible for ensuring that it is accurate and not obscene, defamatory, plagiarised or in breach of copyright, confidentiality or any other right of any person, and you undertake to indemnify the LRB against all claims, losses, damages and costs incurred in consequence of your posting of such material. The LRB will reserve the right to remove any such material posted at any time and without notice or explanation. The LRB will reserve the right to disclose the provenance of such material, republish it in any form it deems fit or edit or censor it. The LRB will reserve the right to terminate the registration of any person it considers to abuse access to any chat room, message board, forum or news group provided by the LRB.
  20. Any e-mail services supplied via the LRB Website are subject to these terms and conditions.
  21. You will not knowingly transmit any virus, malware, trojan or other harmful matter to the LRB Website. The LRB gives no warranty that the LRB Website is free from contaminating matter, viruses or other malicious software and to the fullest extent permitted by law disclaims all liability of any kind including liability for any damages, losses or costs resulting from damage to your computer or other property arising from access to the LRB Website, use of it or downloading material from it.
  22. The LRB does not warrant that the use of the LRB Website will be uninterrupted, and disclaims all liability to the fullest extent permitted by law for any damages, losses or costs incurred as a result of access to the LRB Website being interrupted, modified or discontinued.
  23. The LRB Website contains advertisements and promotional links to websites and other resources operated by third parties. While we would never knowingly link to a site which we believed to be trading in bad faith, the LRB makes no express or implied representations or warranties of any kind in respect of any third party websites or resources or their contents, and we take no responsibility for the content, privacy practices, goods or services offered by these websites and resources. The LRB excludes to the fullest extent permitted by law all liability for any damages or losses arising from access to such websites and resources. Any transaction effected with such a third party contacted via the LRB Website are subject to the terms and conditions imposed by the third party involved and the LRB accepts no responsibility or liability resulting from such transactions.
  24. The LRB disclaims liability to the fullest extent permitted by law for any damages, losses or costs incurred for unauthorised access or alterations of transmissions or data by third parties as consequence of visit to the LRB Website.
  25. While 'subscriber only' content on the LRB Website is currently provided free to subscribers to the print edition of the LRB, the LRB reserves the right to impose a charge for access to some or all areas of the LRB Website without notice.
  26. These terms and conditions are governed by and will be interpreted in accordance with English law and any disputes relating to these terms and conditions will be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.
  27. The various provisions of these terms and conditions are severable and if any provision is held to be invalid or unenforceable by any court of competent jurisdiction then such invalidity or unenforceability shall not affect the remaining provisions.
  28. If these terms and conditions are not accepted in full, use of the LRB Website must be terminated immediately.
Close

Letters

Vol. 26 No. 13 · 8 July 2004

Search by issue:

Too Kind to Pinochet

Stephen Sedley repeats in passing a couple of common ideas about Chile that need qualifying (LRB, 24 June). He describes the way that people divided against each other during the Pinochet dictatorship as a ‘mystery’, given the apparent civility of modern Chile. It is less of one if you consider the Chilean civil war of 1891, the attempted and actual military coups of the 1920s and 1930s, and the increasingly confrontational relationship between the wealthy and the poor – estates seized, militias formed – once the latter were belatedly given the vote in the 1950s. Like Britain and other self-styled ‘stable’ democracies, Chile is good at downplaying the political turbulence in its history. Pinochet’s supporters have been equally good at rose-tinting his economic achievements. While Sedley rightly mentions the brutality that underpinned the dictatorship’s pioneering experiments with privatisation and other free market reforms, he does not question the notion that these brought ‘enterprise’ and ‘prosperity’ to Chile. In fact, the country had a relatively strong economy for decades before Pinochet, based on the same copper mines, good farming conditions and efficient infrastructure that he later benefited from. Despite this, during the dictatorship there were two dramatic and lengthy recessions: the ratio of boom to bust years, as in Britain under Pinochet’s ally Margaret Thatcher, was not impressive by historical standards. And as any visit to a poorer part of town in Chile will tell you, the wealth created during and since the Pinochet period has not always been distributed widely. In 1987 the Financial Times, not an especially strong critic of Pinochet’s economic record, reported that average salaries in Chile were still significantly lower, allowing for inflation, than they had been under the Allende government that he had overthrown 14 years earlier.

Andy Beckett
London N16

Stand-Off in Taiwan

Perry Anderson refers to ‘an international pact against recognising’ a breakaway such as the one Taiwan might make from China, ‘since so many states have reason to fear they would be the first to suffer once the precedent was set’ (LRB, 3 June). There is a fundamental principle of international law called the principle of non-fragmentation, which condemns the disruption of the political unity of an existing state when its government represents all people without discrimination within its territory. When a part of the state rebels and separates from the motherland, other states are reluctant to extend diplomatic recognition to the breakaway state. However, it is doubtful if non-fragmentation is applicable to the relationship between China and Taiwan. True, Beijing has long asserted that there is only one China, of which Taiwan is an inseparable part. Yet, rhetoric aside, the reality is that the PRC does not and has never exercised sovereignty or authority over Taiwan. Taiwan has its own government and military. Its authorities do not accept or implement orders from Beijing. One would be hard pressed to find evidence supporting the claim that Taiwan and China are part of a political unity. Since these conditions do not obtain, there can be no secession.

Taiwan’s international status is peculiar. Qing Dynasty China ceded Taiwan to Japan following the Sino-Japanese War in the Treaty of Shimonoseki of 1895. From then through World War Two, Taiwan was a Japanese colony. Anderson wrote, without identifying the relevant document, that the ‘end of the Pacific War returned Taiwan by Allied agreement to China’. In the Cairo Declaration of 1943 the Allies stated their intention to restore to China those territories, including Formosa, that Japan had stolen. In the Potsdam Proclamation issued before the end of the war in 1945, the Allies said that the terms of the Cairo Declaration should be carried out and Japan’s sovereignty limited to the various islands making up Japan. There is no principle of international law, however, that would recognise these statements as conveying Taiwanese sovereignty to China. The San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1951 also failed to convey Taiwanese sovereignty to China. There, Japan renounced ‘all right, title and claim to Formosa’ but did not convey sovereignty to anyone, including China.

Neither the Republic of China nor the People’s Republic of China was party to the San Francisco Peace Treaty. The RoC did enter into a separate treaty with Japan, the Taipei Peace Treaty of 1952. There the parties recognised Japan’s renunciation of its right, title and claim to Taiwan as stated in the San Francisco Peace Treaty, but the parties did not go any further. Japan did not transfer Taiwanese sovereignty to China.

Kenneth Choy
Hong Kong

Perry Anderson claims that the separation of Norway and Sweden in 1905 is one of three peaceful separations of bi-national states. Norway, in fact, was a joint kingdom with Denmark for many centuries. Denmark was forced to give up Norway to Sweden after the Napoleonic Wars as punishment for backing the loser, and to loosen Denmark's grip on shipping in the Baltic. The union of Sweden and Norway was uneasy, and the eventual separation could be described as peaceful only if one ignored the partial mobilisation of both sides and the many years during which the Norwegian Storting opposed by all means short of armed force the efforts of the Swedes to govern it.

A.J. Caston
Tervuren, Belgium

Señor Welles

‘From a piety that none of his biographers has fully explained,’ David Bromwich writes, ‘Orson Welles asked to be buried in Seville’ (LRB, 3 June). The explanation may be that some biographers tend to know little of famous men whose language and culture differ from their own. For many years Welles was a dedicated admirer and follower of the renowned Spanish matador Antonio Ordóñez and asked that his ashes when he died be interred on the peaceful Ordóñez family farm, El Recreo, located not in Seville but in Malaga province in the spectacular Rondan countryside. Historically the territory of bullfighters, bandits, guerrillas and smugglers, this rocky region was doubtless seen by Welles as more akin to his buccaneering spirit than some genteel churchyard.

Campbell Lennie
Edinburgh

Nihilism

I guess Ralph Seliger attended the 15 May rally in Tel Aviv (Letters, 24 June). Otherwise he wouldn't invoke Yossi Beilin's speech to counter my claim that the Zionist left does not criticise the IDF. He must have noticed that Beilin did not condemn even General Yom Tov Samya, who on the same stage called for the liquidation of Arafat. Nor could Seliger have missed the brutal attack on the large group from Anarchists against the Wall who were holding signs protesting against the IDF. They were beaten up and their signs torn down, not by the police but by peace camp activists. My point is not the integrity of Beilin or his supporters, but their inability to become an opposition and to criticise the IDF. Without that, their efforts are nihil.

Yitzhak Laor
Tel Aviv

Culture of Torture

Slavoj Žižek may be right to say that the photos from Abu Ghraib offer ‘an insight into “American values"’ (LRB, 3 June). But he doesn’t make clear what he means. What is striking – indeed, unbearable – about the images is the way they casually mix two genres: the exposé of atrocity and the holiday snapshot. To understand how this is possible requires that we grasp what it is to be a dominant culture and so to have a culture of dominance. It would mean untangling the strains of triumphalism that run through American culture, from the way we celebrate victories on the sports field to the festivals of public shamelessness and humiliation visible on ‘reality’ TV shows. It would mean reflecting on the contradictions of the ‘volunteer’ or ‘professional’ military, increasingly composed of mercenary outfits shored up by poorly trained reservists and National Guard units. It would mean taking into account the changing US prison system, itself increasingly subject to privatisation, and the employment opportunities it provides in economically marginalised areas of the country (including the corner of Appalachia that most of the Abu Ghraib guards called home) as well as the racial supremacism it breeds. It would certainly mean taking a hard look at the temptation of dominant powers and their representatives to feel they are above the law, including the laws of war, which they happen to be in the process of making.

All this, and one would not yet have begun to think about the work of the camera: the ubiquity and availability of digital images, including pornographic images, their role in abetting torture and humiliation as well as rendering it yawningly routine (to the point of being used as screen-savers on public computers), the cheery poses struck by the guards as they look proudly out at us, expecting approval.

Žižek touches none of this. He cannot even be bothered to make his remark about the ‘outsourcing’ of torture properly. The US does outsource torture, when it wants it done well: the term for handing suspects over to other countries for strenuous interrogation is ‘rendition’.

Rick Livingston
Columbus, Ohio

Slavoj Žižek, commenting on the Abu Ghraib photographs, says: ‘You can find similar photographs in the US press whenever an initiation rite goes wrong in an army unit or on a high school campus’. The photographs have had such an impact precisely because ‘similar photographs’ are never published in the mainstream media, in the US or abroad. I read the New Yorker story in which they first appeared on a crowded train on the Washington DC Metro, and I could sense the eyes of other passengers drawn to the page, shocked by the intrusion of such ugliness into the workaday environment. And Žižek ’s argument that ‘the Iraqi prisoners were effectively being initiated into American culture,’ a culture grounded in obscenity, is as insulting as it is without merit. There is nothing American about pornography, which is perhaps the only universal global language.

Ruth Franklin
Washington DC

Brunel’s Hubris

Peter Campbell says that Brunel's decision to build a broad gauge railway was not hubristic (LRB, 3 June). Certainly he sought higher train speed and greater stability, but why was his new gauge exactly 50 per cent wider than George Stephenson's competing standard gauge? And why does the rising sun shine straight down the London-to-Bristol railway's Box Tunnel only on Brunel's birthday?

As with so many of Brunel's constructions, from Clifton Suspension Bridge to the Great Eastern, competent engineers declared his design for the bridge at Maidenhead foolish, if not downright reckless. Panicked by public concern that the bridge's unprecedentedly flat brick arches would collapse, the Great Western's directors ordered Brunel not to remove the shuttering on the arches. But when a Thames spate shifted these supports, Brunel secretly ordered his carpenters to leave a gap between the brickwork and the replaced shuttering. When the directors later asked Brunel whether he judged that the shuttering could safely be removed he told them that their trains had been crossing the unsupported bridge, in perfect safety, for the best part of a year. Hubris?

Ian Carter
University of Auckland

Tony Blair’s Schooldays

Richard Clogg suggests that Guy Fawkes night wasn't celebrated in Scotland (Letters, 24 June). I lived in Glasgow during the period of which he writes and can testify that the city was ablaze every 5 November.

Graham Hall
Wantage, Oxfordshire

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.